AG’s office fining three Boston-area families nearly $450,000 for underpaying domestic help

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey.
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey. Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff/Globe Staff


AG’s office fining three Boston-area families nearly $450,000 for underpaying domestic help

The attorney general is fining three Boston-area families nearly $450,000 for underpaying live-in domestic workers who cooked, cleaned, and took care of their children, sometimes wiring money to the workers’ families in the Philippines instead of paying them directly. Attorney General Maura Healey is set to announce citations in three separate cases involving four workers on Wednesday. The employers, two of whom lived in Saugus and one in Brookline and are all originally from the United Arab Emirates, failed to pay minimum wage and overtime to the workers, Healey’s office found, in violation of state wage and hour laws and the Massachusetts Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, which guarantees nannies and housekeepers basic labor protections. All three employers were ordered to pay penalties and back pay: Khalifa Mohamed Aldhaheri and Mona Alqubaisi were cited $168,783, Hessa and Mohmmed Khamis Al Khaili $160,371, and Saif Almazrouei and Moza Alsuwaidi $119,856. “These families took advantage of their live-in employees by subjecting them to long work days without proper pay,” Healey said in a statement. “Our office will always advocate on behalf of domestic workers to make sure they don’t fall victim to exploitative practices.” — KATIE JOHNSTON


Google opens an engineering center in Germany focusing on privacy

Google opened a privacy focused engineering center in Munich on Tuesday, its latest move to beef up its data protection credentials as tech companies’ face growing scrutiny of their data collection practices. CEO Sundar Pichai (right) said the Silicon Valley tech giant is expanding its operations in the southern German city, including doubling the number of data privacy engineers there to more than 200 by the end of 2019. Data privacy and security at Google and its tech rivals including Facebook are increasingly in the spotlight. Both companies dedicated much of their annual developer conferences last week to privacy, with Google unveiling new tools giving people more control over how they’re being tracked while Facebook outlined plans to connect people though more private channels. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



Fidelity cuts Goldman out of stock-lending business

Fidelity Investments is cutting out its middleman — Goldman Sachs Group Inc. — when dealing with Wall Street short sellers. The money manager is bringing its stock-lending business in-house, according to a March 29 regulatory filing, instead of paying Goldman Sachs to run it. According to filings, the bank received about 10 percent of the revenues generated by Fidelity’s lending, primarily to firms that borrow stocks to bet against them. Fidelity, which managed $2.7 trillion of assets in March, plans to use some of the savings from the switch to boost returns in the funds that lend securities, particularly index trackers that hold thousands of different stocks. The move comes as Fidelity and its rivals compete to cut fees on index funds, luring assets that can be used for more profitable businesses like securities lending, industry analysts say. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Disney takes full control of Hulu

The Walt Disney Co. has agreed to acquire Comcast’s one-third stake in Hulu and take full control of the streaming service, the companies said Tuesday. The sale price would be at least $9 billion and could climb once an independent party assesses Hulu’s fair market value, the companies said. Hulu had 28 millions subscribers at the end of April, a 12 percent increase since the end of last year. Although it is expected to lose more than $1.5 billion this year, Robert A. Iger, Disney’s chief executive, said he expected it to reach 40 million subscribers and turn a profit by around 2024. — NEW YORK TIMES



That summer polo shirt could cost you more

The Trump administration’s latest round of Chinese tariffs may spell bad news for the preppiest US summer staple: the Ralph Lauren polo shirt. The luxury retailer, which sources about one-quarter of its products from China, could see many of its classic apparel items hit by 25 percent tariffs as the US proposes fresh levies on about $300 billion of goods. Ralph Lauren Corp. makes many of its high-end products in markets like Italy, but some of its Polo and Lauren brands are still made in China. Ralph Lauren shares slipped as much as 5.6 percent, after initially spiking in premarket trading after strong quarterly results. Although profit beat in the quarter, the company’s home market of North America showed weakness. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


EU top court says employers must set up work tracking system

The European Union’s top court ruled on Tuesday that EU countries must make employers set up a system to measure the time worked every day by each worker to ensure compliance with labor laws. The ruling from the European Court of Justice stems from a case in which labor union Comisiones Obreras sought to have a Spanish subsidiary of Germany’s Deutsche Bank obliged to set up such a system. The bank contended that Spanish law has a less exacting requirement for overtime hours to be recorded each month.


Nissan profit plunges in wake of former chairman’s arrest

Japanese automaker Nissan, reeling from the arrest of its former chairman Carlos Ghosn, reported Tuesday that its annual profit nose-dived to less than half of what it earned the previous year, and forecast even dimmer results going forward. Nissan Motor Co.’s profit for the fiscal year that ended in March totaled 319.1 billion yen ($2.9 billion), down from 746.9 billion yen the previous fiscal year — its worst showing since the global financial crisis a decade ago. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



Hackers hijack phones through WhatsApp

Spyware crafted by a sophisticated group of hackers-for-hire took advantage of a flaw in the popular WhatsApp communications program to remotely hijack dozens of phones, the company said late Monday. The Financial Times identified the actor as Israel’s NSO Group, and WhatsApp all but confirmed the identification, describing hackers as ‘‘a private company that has been known to work with governments to deliver spyware.’’ The malware was able to penetrate phones through missed calls alone via the app’s voice calling function, the spokesman said. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Britain’s unemployment rate lowest in 45 years

Official figures show that Britain’s unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest level in 45 years, though wage growth softened slightly. The Office for National Statistics said Tuesday that the jobless rate in the three months to March declined to 3.8 percent, its lowest level since the end of 1974, from 3.9 percent the month before. Separately, it said wage growth excluding bonuses rose by 3.3 percent down from 3.4 percent the month before. Despite the modest decline, wages are rising close to their highest rates since the global financial crisis more than a decade ago. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



Volkswagen ramps up electric car production

In about a year, Volkswagen AG may catch up to Tesla Inc.’s capacity to make electric cars. The world’s biggest automaker said Tuesday it’s building two plants in China to produce a total of 600,000 vehicles on its dedicated battery-car platform, dubbed MEB. The new factories in Anting and Foshan will open a few months after Germany’s Zwickau, which will assemble as many as 330,000 cars annually and is slated to get started by year-end.